Watson s birdie in playoff gives him Senior PGA

By Associated PressMay 30, 2011, 7:55 am

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP)—Once a golfer reaches age 40, let alone 50 or 60, theopportunities at winning decrease dramatically.

Maybe that’s why Tom Watson seemed to particularly cherish his win Sunday inthe Senior PGA Championship.

Perhaps it was the possible finality of it.

“Obviously, it never ceases to be enjoyable, winning a golf tournament,”The 61-year-old Watson said after rolling in a 3-foot birdie putt on the firstplayoff to defeat David Eger . “I’ll go back and think about this tournament. Ifthis is the last tournament I ever win, it’s not a bad one to win.”

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Down a shot with four holes left in regulation, Watson became the oldestplayer to win a major since the senior tour was created in 1980. He also becamethe second-oldest winner of the Senior PGA, and the third-oldest winner of aChampions Tour event. The victory came 10 years, 2 days after he won his otherSenior PGA Championship at Ridgewood Country Club in 2001.

Watson may not be the same player he was in his prime, but there have beenvery few players in history as good at sealing the deal with the outcometeetering.

“It’s amazing,” said Eger, a longtime PGA Tour and U.S. Golf Associationrules official who worked closely with Watson and other superstars for a coupleof decades.

“Tom hasn’t played well this year until this week and suddenly, bam, itclicked on. I don’t know what he does out there in Kansas City, or Hawaii, orwherever in the world he goes. But whatever he does, it’s been the rightformula.”

Watson closed with a 2-under 70 to finish at 10-under 278 and capture his14th career major, six since turning 50 to go with five British Opens, twoMasters and a U.S. Open.

“Coming into the tournament I really didn’t give myself any chance based onthe way I was practicing last week in Kansas City,” he said. “But the lightswitch went on.”

A club rep pointed out a subtle change in his swing. From there, it was badnews for the rest of the field.

“Lo and behold, I started making good swings again,” he said, as if hewere surprised.

Eger closed with a 67.

Both Eger and Watson missed short birdie putts on the 72nd green that wouldhave won for either in regulation, Eger pulling a 6-footer and Watson pushingone from 4 feet.

Watson went for the green with his rescue-club second shot on the playoffhole, the 18th, but it came up short and in the deep and gaping bunker thatfronts the green.

“If it went into the bunker, that was just where I wanted to be,” he said.

Eger caught a bad break when his drive came to rest in a grassy finger onthe edge of a large bunker along the left side of the fairway. He hit a layupand then a wedge to 10 feet, but missed the birdie attempt.

“I hit a pretty good third shot up there,” Eger said. “I thought I hit areally good putt. It just was not good enough.”

Taking little time after blasting out of the sand to 3 feet, Watson calmlystroked in the winner while the large gallery at Valhalla Golf Club cheered andapplauded.

Kiyoshi Murota , who had at least a share of the lead after each of the firstthree rounds, closed with a 72 and was alone in third, a shot out of theplayoff.

He had promised he would play “Murota golf” in the final round.

“I played my Murota golf to the best of my ability,” he said through aninterpreter. “However, my putting left something to be desired.”

Five days before he turns 66, four-time Senior PGA winner Hale Irwin had adouble bogey and two bogeys in a 73 that left him at 8 under.

Eduardo Romero (68), the benefactor of a lucky bounce off the rocks thatturned a bogey into a birdie at the 13th hole, and Peter Senior (69) were at 7under. Nick Price shot a 72 and to finish another stroke back.

Watson seemed stupefied to find himself with the crystal trophy and the$360,000 first-place check at the end.

“Wow. Winning again at 61,” he said, shaking his head. “I don’t thinkit’s an age thing but, God, I’ve been out here a long time.”

But the winning, unlike the players on the Champions Tour, never gets old.

Rusty Miller can be reached at http://twitter.com/rustymillerap

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Day's wife shares emotional story of miscarriage

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 12, 2017, 4:12 pm

Jason Day’s wife revealed on social media that the couple had a miscarriage last month.

Ellie Day, who announced her pregnancy on Nov. 4, posted an emotional note on Instagram that she lost the baby on Thanksgiving.

“I found out the baby had no heartbeat anymore. I was devastated,” she wrote. “I snuck out the back door of my doctor, a hot, sobbing, mascara-covered mess. Two and a half weeks went by witih me battling my heart and brain about what was happening in my body, wondering why this wouldn’t just be over.”

The Days, who have two children, Dash and Lucy, decided to go public to help others who have suffered similar heartbreak.

“I hope you know you aren’t alone and I hope you feel God wrap his arms around you when you feel the depths of sorrow and loss,” she wrote.  

Newsmaker of the Year: No. 5, Sergio Garcia

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 12, 2017, 1:00 pm

This was the year it finally happened for Sergio Garcia.

The one-time teen phenom, known for years as “El Nino,” entered the Masters as he had dozens of majors beforehand – shouldered with the burden of being the best player without a major.

Garcia was 0-for-72 driving down Magnolia Lane in April, but after a thrilling final round and sudden-death victory over Justin Rose, the Spaniard at long last captured his elusive first major title.

The expectation for years was that Garcia might land his white whale on a British links course, or perhaps at a U.S. Open where his elite ball-striking might shine. Instead it was on the storied back nine at Augusta National that he came alive, chasing down Rose thanks in part to a memorable approach on No. 15 that hit the pin and led to an eagle.


Full list of 2017 Newsmakers of the Year


A green jacket was only the start of a transformative year for Garcia, 37, who heaped credit for his win on his then-fiancee, Angela Akins. The two were married in July, and months later the couple announced that they were expecting their first child to arrive just ahead of Garcia’s return to Augusta, where he'll host his first champions’ dinner.

And while players often cling to the notion that a major win won’t intrinsically change them, there was a noticeable difference in Garcia over the summer months. The weight of expectation, conscious or otherwise, seemed to lift almost instantly. Like other recent Masters champs, he took the green jacket on a worldwide tour, with stops at Wimbledon and a soccer match between Real Madrid and Barcelona.

The player who burst onto the scene as a baby-faced upstart is now a grizzled veteran with nearly two decades of pro golf behind him. While the changes this year occurred both on and off the course, 2017 will always be remembered as the year when Garcia finally, improbably, earned the title of major champion.


Masters victory


Article: Garcia defeats Rose to win Masters playoff

Article: Finally at peace: Garcia makes major breakthrough

Article: Garcia redeems career, creates new narrative


Video: See the putt that made Sergio a major champ


Green jacket tour

Article: Take a look at Sergio's crazy, hectic media tour

Article: Garcia with fiancée, green jacket at Wimbledon

Article: Watch: Garcia kicks off El Clasico in green jacket


Man of the people


Article: SERGIO! Garcia finally gets patrons on his side

Article: Fan finally caddies for Sergio after asking 206 times

Article: Sergio donates money for Texas flood relief


Article: Connelly, Garcia paired years after photo together


Ace at 17th at Sawgrass


Growing family

Article: Sergio, Angela get married; Kenny G plays reception

Article: Garcia, wife expecting first child in March 2018


Departure from TaylorMade


Article: Masters champ Garcia splits with TaylorMade


Squashed beef with Paddy

Article: Harrington: Garcia was a 'sore loser'

Article: Sergio, Padraig had 'great talk,' are 'fine'


Victory at Valderrama


Article: Garcia gets first win since Masters at Valderrama

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Newsmakers of the Year: Top 10 in 2017

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 12, 2017, 12:30 pm
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Montana parents can't watch kids play high school golf

By Grill Room TeamDecember 11, 2017, 9:47 pm

Well, this is a one new one.

According to a report from KTVQ in Montana, this line in the Montana State High School Association rule book all but forbids spectators from observing high school golf in that state:

“No spectators/fans are allowed on the course except for certain locations as designated by the tournament manager and club professional.”

Part of the issue, according to the report, is that most courses don't bother to designate those "certain locations" leaving parents unable to watch their kids compete.

“If you tell a parent that they can’t watch their kid play in the Thanksgiving Day football game, they would riot,” Chris Kelley, a high school golf parent, told KTVQ.

The report lists illegal outside coaching as one of the rule's chief motivations, but Montana State women's golf coach Brittany Basye doesn't quite buy that.

“I can go to a softball game and I can sit right behind the pitcher. I can make hand signals,” she is quoted in the report. “I can yell out names. I can do the same thing on a softball field that might affect that kid. Football games we can yell as loud as we want when someone is making a pass or a catch.”

The MHSA has argued that unlike other sports that are played in a confined area, the sprawling nature of a golf course would make it difficult to hire enough marshals to keep unruly spectators in check.

Meanwhile, there's a lawyer quoted in the report claiming this is some kind of civil rights issue.

Worth note, Montana is one of only two states that doesn't allow spectators on the course. The other state, Alaska, does not offer high school golf.